How to know if my car's control arm bushings are bad?

Your car’s control arm bushings are one of those components essential for its ride and comfort. Though as your vehicles ages, its condition could worsen, with the ride quality of your car slightly degraded given the worn-out bushings. Before we proceed with identifying a bad control arm bushing, let us first discuss its sole purpose and how it works. 

Control arm bushings

A control arm bushing is responsible for reducing the amount of vibration generated between your vehicle’s frame and wheels. Plus, it’s also there to keep the control arm aligned. That said, without the bushing, metal-on-metal contact will happen, increasing the amount of vibration as well as driving discomfort. 

In general, ensuring the pristine condition of your bushings should help your car deliver a comfortable drive with minimal unpleasant disturbances. With that out of the way, let’s now proceed with the signs or different symptoms of a bad control arm bushing.

control arm bushing

As mentioned, your control arm bushings could wear out after a long period of time. It also depends on the driving conditions it regularly faces, like if your car goes through harsh trails like offroading, then its lifespan could become shorter than usual. Using aftermarket plus-sized wheels could be another culprit,  as it transfers more vibrations to the bushings given that the vehicle has short sidewalls in order to fit over a rim with a larger diameter. In order to identify if your car’s bushings are in bad condition, then try to examine if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms below:

  • Uneven tire wear - Checking your tires is important and it must be done regularly. Now, upon inspection, if you happen to notice uneven tread wear, then this could indicate an issue with the wheel alignment. In relation to that, the wheel alignment can be affected by worn bushings, since it holds the vehicle frame and control arm in place.
  • Clunking and banging noise - Next sign is you will start to some clunking and banging noises coming from underneath your car. The sound you hear is caused by the bushing getting knocked between the frame and the control arm.
  • Vibration on the steering wheel - You will also notice the increased vibration on your steering wheel. It is usually experienced when speeding up, and it can be annoying. The vibration is caused by the wobbly wheels because of excess play in the system.
  • Steering wander - Steering wander is having the tendency for a vehicle to drift from one side of the road to the other. If your steering pulls either to the left or right, then that could possibly be due to misalignment caused by worn bushings.
  • Unstable braking - It may not be involved directly with your car’s braking system, but any instability in the suspension and steering components, including the control arm bushings, will cause problems with your vehicle's braking.
control arm bushing

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, have it checked at the casa or at your trusted shop immediately in order to have the right people diagnose the problem of your car. In case they found out that your car has bad control arm bushings, the shop could either repair it or in most cases, replace it. Remember, it’s best to get the problem solved as early as possible, in order to avoid more serious conflicts in the future.

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